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Magic Johnson 'Very Proud' of Son After Coming Out

Zach BuckleyNational NBA Featured ColumnistApril 3, 2013

Former NBA superstar and current Los Angeles Dodgers owner Magic Johnson has more to be proud of than just his baseball team opening the year with a shutout win over the rival San Francisco Giants.

Johnson's 20-year-old son E.J. was spotted by TMZ walking hand in hand with his boyfriend on the Sunset Strip.

Johnson said he and his wife Cookie "love E.J. and support him in every way." He added that they're "very proud" of their son.

The news comes at a time when same-sex marriage has moved into the forefront of American public discourse, with the U.S. Supreme Court hearing arguments on two pending gay marriage cases last week.

The arguments for gay marriage have drawn no shortage of support from the entertainment world. Celebrities took to Twitter recently to share a red box and pink equals sign with their millions of followers (via The Times of India).

For Johnson, though, the debates obviously hit a lot closer to home.

If his unabashed support of his son was any indication, he left no doubt about which side of the argument he aligns himself with.

Of course, his son couldn't have made the decision easier for his proud papa.

When asked about his father's baseball team, E.J. said that he has been "hoping and praying" for the Dodgers since Johnson and his business partners bought the team in March 2012.

Perhaps Johnson's support will further help the discussion of homosexuals in the professional sports world.

Former NFL offensive lineman Kwame Harris publicly acknowledged his sexual orientation with CNN recently, but he had been outed months before after being charged with domestic violence and assault in an altercation with a former boyfriend (via SI.com).

Current San Francisco 49ers defensive back Chris Culliver created a firestorm leading up to the Super Bowl when he voiced a critical opinion of gays playing in the NFL, but he later apologized for his remarks.

According to CBSSports.com NFL Insider Mike Freeman, that discussion could soon become impossible to ignore, as he's been told by several sources that a "current gay NFL player is strongly considering coming out publicly -- and after doing so, the player would attempt to continue his career."

Magic Johnson's support of his son may very well mean nothing toward the future acceptance of gay athletes in the professional sports world. But with the sports world apparently lagging behind the nation as a whole, maybe this will be a jumping-off point for more sports megastars to voice their own support.

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